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What the Heck is the Problem with Filipino Voters?

ar Roxas, who gave up his presidential aspirations in 2010 to make way for then presidential aspirant Benigno Aquino Jr., says he might be willing to give way again for frontrunner Grace Poe. The question Pinoy voters should be asking is if Roxas is so willing to give way to others, maybe he’s not that interested in running for president. At this time more than ever, the country needs a decisive, strong-willed leader who will stand up to the Chinese and all others wishing to leave Filipinos at a disadvantage.

Unfortunately, Filipino voters must have been sleeping under a guava tree when God gave out voting smarts because Filipinos have proved to be horrible voters! Candidates are selected like flavor-or-the-month ice cream choices. Right now it happens to be Grace Poe; everybody’s darling. But as we noted in a previous editorial, we still want to know who exactly is she and why she deserves the office?

She has not written anything on politics, or even life in general. We have not heard her give any speeches or even YouTube videos that will give the man-on-the-street an inkling on how her mind works and who Grace Poe really is. All we know is that she is the adopted daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr. and his wife Susan Roces. That’s it!

Apparently that is enough for Filipino voters who seem to be falling all over themselves to get her into Malacañang Palace. As far as we can tell she is honest and forthright, but also soft-spoken and demure and totally untested in politics. How she will fare versus the tough, battle-tested Chinese leaders who've had to fight their way to the top is anybody’s guess at this point.

Filipinos have already elected two females for the presidency: Cory Aquino and Gloria Arroyo, Sadly both proved to be unmitigated disasters. Cory admitted she know nothing and proved it to one and all during her six-year term. Then Gloria Arroyo came along and showed the country what unadulterated corruption looks like—according to her legion of detractors (many of whom were her former supporters).

The current president Benigno Aqjuino III was elected president only because his mother Cory just happened to pass away shortly before the 2010 presidential elections. Otherwise he led a completely undistinguished, mediocre political career.

And his lack of experience stood out for all to see when he was bamboozled by the Chinese during the Bajo de Masinloc (Scarborough Shoal) incident, where the Philippines gave up its upper hand and handed the shoal to the Chinese on a silver platter.

Sure, President Aquino is an honest, well-intentioned individual but unfortunately, that can't be the only criteria needed for the highest office in the land. It is a sad indictment of Filipino culture if the best they can hope for in a presidential candidate is just honesty.

And the voting public appears ready to do it again. Grace Poe seems like an honest person, and although no one really knows much else about her, that’s okay … she's today's "darling" and she’ll do as far as most Pinoy voters are concerned. As will Vice President Jejomar Binay who has been accused of all sorts of corruption and malfeasance during his time as mayor of Makati City. And ditto for Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, suspected of having ties to death squads operating in Davao City. All of the above can become president as far as the Philippine electorate is concerned.

So while citizens of neighboring countries zoom toward the future in high-velocity speedboats, Pinoys are content just rowing their bancas towards the next island. Hopefully there’ll be a guava tree they can sleep siesta under. Published 7/16/2015

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